8.30.2010

Review: 2666, by Roberto Bolaño

Perhaps the title of his 890-page behemoth comes (as suggested by Ignacio Echevarría in the Note to the First Edition) from a passage in one of late author Roberto Bolaño's earlier works, in which the protagonist describes Mexico City's Avenida Guerrero at night as

      more like a cemetery than an avenue, not a cemetery
      in 1974 or in 1968, or 1975, but a cemetery in the
      year 2666, a forgotten cemetery under the eyelid of
      a corpse or an unborn child, bathed in the dispassion-
      ate fluids of an eye that tried so hard to forget one particular thing that it ended up
      forgetting everything else.

                                                                                       (Bolaño, Amulet)

Or perhaps, as I've heard it suggested in other reviews, Bolaño is making use of his affinity for mirrors, affixing the future year 2,666 AD as an end point, a point of reconciliation, a point of forgiveness and exodus, just as Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt 2,666 years after God created the world.

8.11.2010

Review: Enduring Love, by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan never fails to impress me. In all of his work that I've read to-date, he has been indefatigable in his pursuit of perfect, beautiful and dangerous metaphors. He dives into the depths of the human psyche and consistently resurfaces each time with these wonderful mysterious black pearls of truth. And it is with scientific accuracy that McEwan polishes these pearls.

8.07.2010

Review: The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, by Richard Holmes


Every December, the New York Times compiles a list of what they consider the best 100 books of the year. The Age of Wonder appeared on that list this past year and, captivated by its subject and starry cover, I asserted that I wanted it. Unfortunately, it never got past my Christmas list, and I had to wait for the library to have a copy for me. And, finally, they did.

Review: Austenland, by Shannon Hale

What our American protagonist quaintly references as “Austenland” is in fact a Janeite’s wet-dream-like summer-camp for adults. Very wealthy women spend oodles of money (in our narrator Jane Hayes’ case she has been gifted this one-of-a-kind experience) to stay on what looks like a Regency-era estate, wearing Regency dress, living what feels like a Regency life for a few weeks, getting thrown together with actors as well as other paying customers, vying for the attentions of the Bingley/ Darcy/ Wentworth/ Brandon/ Knightley-like men (actors), all by the light that should be oil or gas-lit, but is instead plugged into a wall socket.